Winter’s Spendor

One thing that I really want to do this year is show more of my personal photography. It’s always been here, but I hardly ever share it and the stories behind the images. My buddy Greg Molyneux, a south jersey landscape photographer does a great job at telling the stories behind his photos. There’s always a story behind a photo. Hopefully I can share some too. My interest in photography is what got me into woodworking in the first place.

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to get out to my local state forest, Bass River State Forest, which is New Jersey’s first state forest! I usually don’t “get” that many opportunities. Between working full time, raising two kids, owning a house, and running this small business, as you can imagine, I don’t get much free time for myself. I’m not complaining, just stating a fact. I love my family, job and even housework. 🙂 When I don’t get time to go out for photos, I take photos of my kids, my lovely wife, or macro subjects right in my backyard. I was able to get because my wife was sick and home from work. I probably should have been caring for her, but instead I snuck out to “scope out some sledding locations <wink wink>…” I love walking around in the forest after a fresh snow storm. It totally alters the landscape that you’re used to. Creates new things to admire and depict. While out, I also got the opportunity to use a new vintage lens that I got, the Helios 44m-4 58mm f2. It’s not a great lens, but it’s special. It was built by a soviet company as a knock off to a much better lens. Hundreds of thousands were made. An imperfection with the lens ended up making it very popular. It creates a swirling effect in the out of focus areas of a photo taken with the lens. To some it may be annoying. To others it adds depth and makes a photo intriguing.

I love to mess around with my photos. I’ve always thought that it helps me to learn more about my craft to push things to their limit. I love shooting into the sun. Enjoy and I hope to share more of my photos throughout the year.


One of the first shots I took wth a vintage lens I got recently. I seem to love lens flare so I wanted to try and push this lens to it’s boundaries. Click to view full size.

The lens I got is an old Soviet knock off lens, which produces an interesting swirl look to the out of focus areas of photos. Here you can see it in the falling snow in the background. Click to view large.

Another example of the swirling background you can get with the Helios 44m-4 58mm f2 lens. I wish I took one step backward to get all of the deer tracks in this photo. Click to view large.

Red spruce growing in the understory of white pine is not a common sight within the native Pine Barrens. Click to view large.

Here the sun lit the falling snow and created these awesome “snow rays.” Click to view large

As I walked through this stand of pole height white pine, a few red spruce were lit by the rising sun. As the wind blew the sun lit the falling snow. It made for a memorable scene. Click to view large.

A lone red spruce. Click to view large.